Zebre or in English Zebras replaced Aironi Rugby in the Heineken Cup and the Rabodirect Pro12 for the 2012/13 season. Zebre are based in Parma and play their home games at the XXV Aprile Stadium which is currently being refurbished and expanded ready for the new season.
The club was not a totally new team as they were originally founded in 1973 as an invitational club for north-western Italy. The new club, joins the other Italian representative Benetton Treviso in both competitions.
Zebre has been given much needed support from the FIR who appointed 53-year-old Roberto Manghi as Director of Rugby. Manghi, moved from Rugby Reggio, he has also been General Manager with Gran Parma and Rugby Parma, reaching the Eccellenza semi-finals with both clubs.
Zebre playing strength for the season 2012/13 comprised 29 Italians including Marco Bortolami and 12 other capped players with the overseas players being; Dries van Schalkwyk a South African No.8, Luciano Leibson an Argentinian Prop and Dave Ryan a USA Prop. This squad and the club in general will struggle to progress in either the Cup or League.